Sira-sira store: Sparking hunger for ‘movie cuisine’-A A +A
By Ober Khok
Friday, July 6, 2012
LET'S kick off this week’s adventure by saying outright that some movies trigger recipes that pique curiosity.
American Adobo, a film directed by Laurice Guillen, is named after two of the more favored contenders as the “Filipino national dish” (the other one being sinigang). One recipe for adobo, American version, which I didn’t try, had butter, white vinegar and ginger among the ingredients.
Coming to mind was the 1991 movie, Fried Green Tomatoes, that had me trying out the idea in the kitchen recently.
I hunted for round, green steak tomatoes to test-drive a recipe I found online.
It’s not the regular way we have tomatoes at home; you know, sliced ripe and semi-ripe beauties tossed with cubed cucumber in a sweet sour vinaigrette dressing; or chopped tomatoes and red onions in a vinegar-bagoong (fermented fish or shrimp) sauce.
The classic FGT has bacon grease as one of the ingredients, but I settled for the one from simplyrecipes.com. I seasoned the sliced tomatoes with salt and pepper; dipped them in all-purpose flour (I added garlic and cayenne powder); dunked them in an egg-milk bath and coated them in a cornmeal-bread crumb mixture (I used panko or Japanese-style bread crumbs), then deep-fried them until golden brown. For dip, I had bottled sweet chili sauce, ketchup mixed with Tabasco, and remoulade (combine mayonnaise, mustard, paprika, prepared horseradish, pickle juice, hot sauce and garlic).
Wait, let me grab a bite—all this talk about tomatoes makes me hungry.
You may have heard about “The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook,” an offshoot of the movie that made a splash in March this year. In fact, the movie has created quite a storm of recipes in thousands of websites, built around scenes from the book and the film, and naturally, I have my version, too.
Panem, a dystopian post-apocalyptic nation, has 12 districts that hover in poverty and its people scramble for creative ways to eat, while the 13th, known as the Capitol, rolls in wealth.
In the film, Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take the place of Primrose, her little sister, at the annual Hunger Games survival battle. On the day Katniss leaves for the games, Prim gives her a creative gift of goat cheese wrapped in basil leaves.
To follow Prim’s lead, I grilled a sandwich made with whole wheat bread, goat cheese, tomatoes, mayonnaise and sliced basil leaves (skip this if you hate basil). For lunch I tossed a salad made of cubed mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, sliced basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and cubed garlic bread; sprinkled parmesan cheese before serving.
In the movie, District 4 is known as the fishing industry hub of Panem. There are many Filipino fish dishes, but if you make a quick tuna patty, you might win applause from your family. Combine drained flaked tuna, minced spring onions, shredded carrots, mashed potatoes, beaten egg and salt. Chill before cooking. Dip patties in beaten egg, then in bread crumbs before frying.
My mouth waters when I think of lamb with dried plums, which is said to be Katniss’ favorite food. The Capitol is the only place in Panem that offers a variety of food and on the day Katniss leaves for Panem on a train, she dines on lamb chops and green salad.
Lamb may be too expensive, so why not settle for pork kebabs with a twist? Marinate cubed pork in olive oil, lemon juice, sugar, salt and garlic. Thread alternately with cubed semi-ripe mango, cherry tomatoes and whole shallots. Brush with extra marinade during cooking time.
There’s a scene in the movie in which one of the characters dies from eating nightlock berries, which are poisonous. You don’t have to die reconstructing the scene. Just make blueberry French toast: Dip wheat bread in a mixture made with egg, milk and a pinch of salt, and then press bottled blueberries into the bread before frying them in melted butter.
Ah, this game of making food out of a movie makes me hungry again.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 07, 2012.